Friday, February 17, 2006

Tonight I'm Gonna Party Like It's 1999

I know you're here so you really should drop a quick comment by clicking on the small link below this text that says "x comments". How do I know you are reading this? I found this really cool website called statcounter ( and with it I can track how many people visit the blog, how long they spend reading and what part of the world they come from. Generally I don't know who you are exactly - unless it is Rachel. I know it is you. I don't think too many other people are reading this blog linking from an ISP in Veneto, Italy! ;-) Glad you're visiting! Oh, and Patrick Hynes because I saw that you logged on from the Spencer Stuart network. And somebody else from the country of Brunei Darussalam - but I'm guessing you were just a "lurker" - but welcome anyways. There is other cool stuff that I can track that only a techy nerd like me would think is cool, like which browser you use, which operating system is on your PC, etc. I also can find out if you're a first time visitor or whether you are returning.

I had a total 1999 moment tonight. I have been following a lot of recent Internet developments over the past 6 months with a new trend called Web 2.0 with new companies launching start-ups on a scale that I haven't seen since the 90's. The premier blog site that covers Web 2.0 is called Techcrunch ( and it if you are profiled there you get instant credibility. Anyway, I noticed on their website that they were having a party tonight at Mike Arrrington's house (the guy who started the blog) but it was invite only. Anyhow, a friend of mine had an extra invitation and so I went. It felt so "dot com" bubble all over again. It was fun to see everybody be energetic again about launching new companies. But I couldn't help but think that everybody had the same idea in mind - create something really fast and be sold to Google, Yahoo! or Microsoft really fast. Classic "flip" of your company. Clearly when people don't want to create real companies but just want to make money fast it must be heading for tears. But it did make me excited to be in Silicon Valley (Ground Zero) as I wouldn't have gone to an impromptu party anywhere else with such a group of entrepreneurs that are at the center of a movement like Web 2.0.

Kay is doing a little better day-by-day. I'm sure she doesn't feel like it right now but I can see the smallest signs of recovery that are occuring. And at least she isn't at the hospital anymore. We feel lots of sympathy for her. If you know Kay give her a call - I'm sure she'd be happy to hear from you as I'm also sure being away from home for so many month must be hard. Myron is here to pick up some of the extra slack. He tells me that yesterday Andy took a nap on his chest and he has to be around to play ball and blocks while Daddy is at work or travelling. Tania is starting to settle into a routine - unfortunately a routine that runs around no sleep! But at least we now have nanny support 3.5 days / week. We sure do miss Bella, though :-(

We did manage to get out for our post Valentine's Day dinner. We went for a romantic dinner at Spago in Palo Alto and felt like human beings for the second time in 3 months (the last was went we got out for a quick dinner to Tamerine in Palo Alto - for me a restaurant that was as good as the best you will find in London) - we even managed to split a bottle of wine.

I'm off to London again on Sunday night. Will be a long week of work and being away from the family. Bright spot is that I need to be in Paris on Friday afternoon for a meeting with a VC firm so I am going to get to see my dear friends Stephen Bolger & Lisa LaPlant for dinner. Funny how your life can get so busy and you wake up one day and realise you haven't seen your friends for 6-9 months or more! I realise that I haven't seen my friend Paul since his wedding more than 3 years ago. Tempus Fugit!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Light at the end of the tunnel

Valentine's Day ...

First one that we haven't gone out for a nice dinner since we started dating. I guess that is what happens when you have 2 kids - one with a broken leg and the other 6 weeks old. But we have romantic dinner plans for Thursday evening - let's see if we can keep them.

The past few weeks have continued to be trying times for us. Kay (Tania's mom) had her surgery last week. We were a bit too quick to proclaim it the extraordinary success that it appeared to be. She had pretty serious surgery for diverticulitis and was up and walking around within a day. But then suddenly after 48 hours she started experiencing irregular heartbeats and has been in a sort of middle ground ICU ever since to be closely monitored. While most of the feedback that I am getting seems to be that it is not uncommon to have the reaction that she had post a surgery and that they believe that they have ruled out a heart attack or pulmonary embolism - everybody is still a bit on eggshells and we are thinking of Kay often. Can't be very fun to be stuck in a hospital 3,000 miles from home and having post-op complications. But with 2 kids who are doctors at least she is getting lots of good advice and reassurance.

We continue to be blown away by the generousity and kindness of our fellow class parents. I called Tania on the way home from work to see if I could bring home fast food or sandwiches (classic Valentine's fare) and she informed me that one of the mothers from our co-op school had brought us a full meal. Was really nice.

Life with Andy is getting mildly better. He still isn't sleeping much so Tania isn't either. After 6 weeks I can no longer get up in the middle of the night or I wouldn't be able to function at work. So it is a bit of "ships passing in the night" but that is to be expected. On the positive side he has finally started smiling at us in the way that only babies can where their entire faces light up and you suddenly feel that the effort of the past several weeks has been worth it. I can't even imagine how Tania must feel as I have clearly only put in 10% of the level that she has had to put in. So there is light at the end of the tunnel as we know with each day his neck is getting stronger, his stomach growing bigger and his smiling and communication will only increase. But you can clearly tell in the picture that he is telling us not to worry - everything will be A-Okay! ;-)

Jacob is now running around with his cast as though it doesn't even exist anymore. Quite a change from only 2 weeks ago when he wouldn't even stand on it. Tania says he was chasing girls (Hannah) in school this morning along with Teacher Michael (a Brit so Jacob must gravitate towards the accent!). Anyway, "casty" comes off next week and we are looking forward to getting back to normalcy - including being re-potty trained.

My brother Matt and his wife Adrienne stayed with us the last couple of nights and it was great to see them. They got lots of quality Jake & Andy time, which obviously wasn't easy to do when we were living full time in London. Speaking of which ... only 6 more days in Sunny California until I head back to Old Blighty and I only got back to California last weekend. I've gotten used to the commute so really not that bad on me but just miss the family when I'm away.

And finally, I had that magical father-son moment tonight. Last weekend I bought Jacob "Finding Nemo," which I had been waiting to watch with him for the past couple of years. I struggled to get the brand new Panasonic recordable DVD player hooked up to the Motorola DVR cable box, which is connected to the Samsung HDTV ready 50" rear projection DLP TV set. I started to feel like I was crumbling from the weight of technology around me - even after 2 trips to Radio Shack for help armed with digital photographs of the backs of all of my machines. "Just give me any cable that will solve my problem - I DON'T CARE HOW MUCH IT COSTS!!!" Jacob kept saying, "Can I help? Can I help you? let me do it!"

Tania tried to come to the rescue by handing Jacob the Crate & Barrel catalog and asking him to look at the TV pictures and tell us what to do - great tactic to keep him out Dad "the Wrecking Ball's" way. He announced, "I know, Daddy, push really hard" as he demonstrated on the remote control for the TV player that is in the other room. At least it lightened the mood.

I managed to get the set-up working after 30 minutes and we were able to salvage the evening (and my fatherly pride) by watching the first half of Nemo. To anybody who has a child I don't need to tell you the magic of watching Disney (Pixar especially) with an almost 3 year old and having them laugh, get scared (Bruce the Shark!) and show concern, "Daddy, where is Nemo? His daddy can't find him." Heartwarming.

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